Beginning with ELDR’s spring 2008 cover, loosely based on the famous Rolling Stone cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, ELDR editor in chief David Bunnell wanted to “break through the notion that older people don’t have sex, and if they do, they don’t particularly enjoy it.” With this mission in mind, the new consumer magazine aims to offer enlightened, entertaining content to its target 60-plus readership. The magazine hopes to change the perception of what people think it means to grow old.
The magazine, which is a collaboration between Bunnell and San Francisco-based designer Steve Barretto, won a Gold Eddie for Best Design, New Magazine in the consumer category. When brainstorming ELDR’s design, Barretto and Bunnell wanted to walk the fine line of pushing the envelope with the unexpected, while still remaining appropriate and relevant to its target readership. Its cover “Love After Age 60” does just this, with its black and white photo of a naked couple and “visual push” with its typography and imagery.
Maintain Design Concept
While ELDR may dabble in the controversial, both Barretto and Bunnell have strict guidelines when it comes to the design concept of the magazine. “Rather than using old typefaces or trendy typefaces, we chose ones that are very invitational and readable—and we applied this same concept to all the principles of design including contrast, color values, contrast in type size, and in the way the content is laid out,” Bunnell says. The main goal, he adds, is to keep the typeface and design both contemporary and engaging.
Under the Influence
The design inspiration for ELDR, Bunnell says when asked about his brainchild, comes from his “experiences designing other new magazines, particularly the original design of Macworld, when I collaborated with Margie Spiegelman. For a computer magazine, Macworld was very clean, readable and elegant.” Other magazines that Bunnell turned to for artistic guidance include BARK magazine, originally designed by Barretto, as well as “Vanity Fair—Where else?” he says.
Controversial Cover Shoot
The most difficult part of making ELDR’s spring cover come to life was finding the right photographer and cover models, the editor in chief says. “The photo shoot took place in a loft in Hoboken, New Jersey, and I was the only one on the magazine staff who knew what was happening,” he says. “I was concerned that if word leaked out that we were putting a naked couple on our cover, the sales and circulation people would freak out. One of the first people to see the cover was the president of the publishing group at Barnes & Noble, Alan Khan, and thank god, he loved it!”
Surprisingly, “Love After Age 60” only yielded three or four letters from outraged readers, says Bunnell, making it a successful fusion of the appropriate with the unexpected.